The knight who put the bell on the neck of Choi Jeong 9 dan, who has been at the top of the list for more than a decade, was Kim Eun-ji 9 dan, a rookie knight with an age gap of almost 12 years. Choi 9 dan was born in 1996, and Kim 9 dan was born in 2007, with an 11-year age gap.

There is a saying that a mature tree knows everything from the tip of the head. Such was the case in the Go community. Kim Eun-ji started participating in a children’s Go competition in 2012 when she was around five years old, drawing attention.

The media also paid attention from an early age. Kim Eun-ji gained media attention by broadcasting a special Lunar New Year special in 2015, around the early days of the “Youngjae Discovery Team,” which was aired on SBS.

However, Kim Eun-ji succeeded in joining the professional league in 2020, which was later than expected, perhaps due to the public interest in “genius girl.” It only felt a little late because of the high expectations, and it was a professional debut fast enough to secure the title of “youngest professional engineer” at the time of joining the team.

Kim Eun-ji, 9 dan who became the new queen. Korean origin

Kim Eun-ji, who showed good performance to the second tier in her professional year, is drawing attention not only from Go news but also from social media. It was not a good issue. The artificial intelligence cheating issue, which was highly controversial in other fields such as chess, broke out.

Kim Eun-ji, who participated in an online Go competition on September 29, 2020, cannot resist the temptation of the moment and makes the mistake of playing after reviewing the next position using artificial intelligence.

Go professionals, who are called “professional” and “professional” rather than “players,” were based on mutual trust and trust even when AI was overflowing. This is because no matter who raised suspicions, it was an atmosphere where a professional engineer dismissed it.

The situation was similar at the time. When suspicions were raised that Kim Eun-ji’s spots were strangely high in artificial intelligence, many professional drivers actively defended Kim Eun-ji. It was a kind of blind belief that it could not have been.

Kim Eun-ji, who was disciplined for “one year of suspension” through the disciplinary committee of the Korea Baduk Association after scrutiny involving artificial intelligence experts, returned as the youngest captain in the women’s go league at the time of her return in 2022. Kim Eun-ji, who apologized to her fans at her first interview after returning to the go world, began to overcome various controversies and trials.

Kim Eun-ji’s entry of the final round of the women’s flag match at Haesung by 9 dan. She marked the beginning of the “Kim Eun-ji era” by crossing the highest rank of 9 dan. Origins of Korea

Kim Eun-ji, 9 dan, has been truly remarkable since her return in 2022. She has advanced to the semi-finals of the IBK Industrial Bank of Korea Women’s Baduk Masters, and has also been named in the round of 16 in the highest competition among rookie Lee Bo-bae, where all male drivers will participate. She won the women’s competition including Nanseolheon-bae and Hyorim-bae, and was the runner-up in the 6th Haesung Women’s Gisaeng competition, which had a full-fledged final match with Choi Jeong-dan.

There was a defeat in the final, feeling the wall of Choi Jeong’s 9th dan, but the atmosphere at the time was encouraging. Choi, who was ahead of the official record and skill, won the match, but in terms of contents, he felt that he was struggling with strong challenges from rookies. He was often seen embarrassed by Kim Eun-ji’s aggressive attacks.

Kim Eun-ji, 9 dan, finally exceeded her dream goal of Choi Jung, 9 dan, even before joining the professional league, and lifted the trophy of the women’s game, which is the biggest mechanism of Korean women’s Go. Although she gave up one final match, she fought back with a complete victory in the second match, and unlike Choi Jeong, who stopped in the final three countries, Kim Eun-ji’s 9 dan’s boldness shone.

In an interview shortly after winning, Kim said, “I’m really happy that I won the championship by beating Choi Jeong 9 dan.”

The Korean women’s Go community is at its peak recently to the extent that it is said to have reached the “Renaissance Era.” While Choi Jeong’s 9th dan played a role in opening the heyday, Kim Eun-ji’s 9th dan will show a new ace who will support it more solidly.

Companies are also sponsoring women’s baduk. This is evidenced by the fact that NH Nonghyup Bank sponsored the Senior Baduk League to become a title sponsor of the Women’s Baduk League, the creation of the IBK Industrial Bank of Korea, Hyorim Bae, and the strongest female Baduk competition of the News Pimbae.

Kim Eun-ji, the 9th grader who conquered Korean women’s Go, is now heading to the world stage. Expectations are high for the 2024 World Women’s Go Competition, in which Choi Jeong, 9 dan, and Kim Eun-ji, 9 dan, who is aiming to win the title at the world women’s competition, will clash to show off her robustness.


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